People’s lives have never been more interconnected than in the digital age. The rise of mobile devices and Wi-Fi technology has made the existence of a global community possible. By now, their use has been deeply embedded in the fabric of daily life and it would be difficult to imagine the postmodern world without the presence of these powerful tools. Let us take a closer look at three of the most commonly used handheld devices.
A rugged computer is designed to withstand use in harsh environments such as extreme weather conditions. As such, it is an essential tool for field workers. For instance, rugged tablets are used by airlines for operating their fleet. The devices are used in commercial planes as well because they can handle the shocks of in-flight usage better. These are also used by warehouse management companies and public safety agencies.
Companies in these industries prefer to use rugged devices such as Trimble devices because they are proven to work efficiently in tough work environments such as freezing temperatures. They can also survive rough handling, which minimizes the need for a Trimble repair, for instance. This is extremely beneficial to companies because it limits the amount spent on repairing or replacing out-of-order equipment.
This one is perhaps the most versatile out of all the pocket-size devices people carry around all day. The smartphone began its life as a device primarily used for sending and receiving text messages as well as for making and receiving calls. That was in the 1990s.
What is amazing about the current form is its multi-functionality. Back then, you would need multiple devices to do everything that a smartphone can do. Its predecessors are the mobile phone and the personal digital assistant (PDA). The mobile phone was solely intended for communications. The PDA, on the other hand, was used for business purposes. It gave its users access to spreadsheets, calculators, calendars, and the like.
Aside from combining the functions of the mobile phone and the PDA, some of the functions of the digital camera, portable music player, GPS navigation device, and handheld game console have also been incorporated into the current version of the smartphone.
Since its arrival, this portable work companion has become the best friend of students and working professionals alike. Home computers, the ancestor of the personal computer (PC), were first introduced in the mid-1970s. But it was only later on that a computer was made for commercial release.
Osborne 1, the first mass-produced portable computer, was released in 1981. It had a built-in printer and weighed 24 pounds, a far cry from today’s lightweight laptops. Then in 1983, Apple released the Lisa, the first computer with a graphical user interface or GUI, a feature that allows users to navigate the screen and run programs with the use of a mouse. Previously, there was a need to type commands to run computer programs. A couple of years later, GUIs became a common feature of all PCs.
But laptop prototypes that heavily influenced the ones being used today did not arrive until the early 1990s. In 1991, Apple released the PowerBook laptop series. A number of its features can still be seen in modern laptop design. It had a keyboard located at the back of the laptop’s bottom half, positioned near the screen. The front of the bottom half was reserved for the trackball and palm rests. Today, the trackball and palm rests have been replaced with a touchpad, but the layout is essentially the same.
A year after the PowerBook was released, IBM released its own laptop series called the ThinkPad. The fact that the ThinkPad 750c was used by NASA in space demonstrates its brilliant design.
A lot has surely changed since the dawn of the early computers. But it is useful to look back on these earlier innovations because contemporary devices are heavily influenced by their predecessors. Until now, design and concepts inherited from mobile device prototypes are still apparent. The invention of the bulky predecessors sparked a technological revolution, which led to the birth of lightweight and versatile gadgets that have spread across all corners of the globe.